Eggplant Ziti – Or Not So Much

27 08 2010

The plan for dinner tonight was supposed to be an attempt at this recipe.  Unfortunately, my sole remaining eggplant decided to go spectacularly bad.

Considering that it was already after nine (I worked the closing shift today), and I had a mess of fresh and canned vegetables waiting to be turned into something yummy, I winged it again, and came up with a chunky, meatless pasta ‘sauce’.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 large onion, chopped (I would have happily increased this to a full onion, but I only had half a lonely onion left)
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (13.75 oz) artichoke hearts, (not marinated), rough chopped
1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper, rough chopped
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 cup carrot slices
1/4 cup cooking sherry
1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil

First, I took the onion, garlic, and carrot slices and dumped them in the bottom of my pot, along with the olive oil.  I cooked these until the onion started to soften.  Then I dumped the rest of the ingredients in, and let the whole works simmer for about twenty minutes.  Then I realized that I’d forgotten to start the water boiling for the whole wheat penne, and had to add about 1/2 cup of water to the sauce to keep it moist, while the noodles cooked.

For an off-the-cuff, nearly one pot meal, this was actually pretty good!  I keep looking at my now empty plate, thinking, ‘I could really eat more of that’.  But really, I’m full.  It was just damned tasty!  I’m going to be a good, not-overstuffed eater, and save the leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.  The rest of the sauce will just have to get frozen, because this recipe makes a lot for one person!

In retrospect, I would probably use fresh basil as part of my seasoning, and maybe increase the amount of cooking sherry.  Oh, and I would dearly love to switch in portabella mushrooms for the white mushrooms used tonight.

Anyway, I topped the meal tonight with ordinary grated Parmesan cheese, but I think this would do better with freshly grated Parmesan.  Oh, and despite the dieting world’s hatred for carbs, I would totally throw in a loaf of crusty French bread, for cleaning all of the sauce off my plate. Mmm!!  Still, for a meal that left absolutely edible leftovers, I’m pretty happy.

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